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overhead shot of a bowl of spiraled sesame cucumber salad

Crisp Sesame Cucumber Salad

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5 from 4 reviews

  • Author: Emily
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


This Sesame Cucumber Salad is the perfect no-cook side dish for any summer meals! Refreshing to eat and full of toasted sesame flavor, this simple side is ready in minutes and looks beautiful on any table. Easily vegan and gluten-free!


Units Scale

For salad:

  • 1/2 red onion, sliced thinly
  • 4 Persian cucumbers
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sumac (or sub lemon zest)
  • 3 TBS lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 seeded jalapeño, sliced thinly (optional)
  • 1 cup mixed tender herbs (like cilantro and mint), roughly chopped
  • Sesame seeds, to garnish

For sauce:

  • 2 TBS tahini paste, runny
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy yogurt
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon (2-3 TBS)
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • A few pinches of salt and pepper


  1. Place the sliced red onion in a small bowl of water, which will help mellow the sharpness. Set aside.
  2. Slice cucumber into thin rounds and add to a large bowl. If you'd like to make spiraled cucumbers, see instructions in notes below. Add salt, stir, and let sit for 10 minutes - this will draw out some of the liquid which helps to avoid an overly watery end result. 
  3. Drain off water and sprinkle cucumbers with sumac and pepper. Stir to combine. Add lemon juice and sliced jalapeño, if using. 
  4. Drain red onion and add to cucumber mixture. Add fresh herbs and mix.
  5. Mix tahini, yogurt, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt and pepper in a small cup. Combine until smooth. 
  6. To serve, spread tahini sauce into a shallow bowl or plate and spoon salad onto it. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, to garnish. 


For cucumber spirals: Place a thin Persian cucumber horizontally between two chopsticks (this will help prevent slicing all the way through. Starting at on site, slice your knife perpendicularly (at a 90 degree angle) along the cucumber at 1/4 inch intervals, almost all the way down. Once you get all the way across, flip the cucumber over to the uncut side and repeat the slicing process, but cut at a 45 degree angle instead of perpendicularly. 

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Slicing
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: One fourth of recipe
  • Calories: 130 calories
  • Sugar: 2.7 grams
  • Sodium: 411 milligrams
  • Fat: 10.1 grams
  • Saturated Fat: 1.5 grams
  • Unsaturated Fat: 8.6 grams
  • Trans Fat: 0 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 8.9 grams
  • Fiber: 3.7 grams
  • Protein: 3.6 grams
  • Cholesterol: 0 milligrams